Don’t Come or Call Unannounced and Expect to be Interviewed

Marjorie Barnard, Writer and Librarian, ca.1936This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager at a library with 0-10 staff members.

What are the top three things you look for in a candidate?

appropriate dress and demeanor
willingness to work

Do you have any instant dealbreakers, either in the application packet or the interview process?

inappropriate dress (especially when the applicant has a firm interview appointment date)
inability to spell
lack of research on the library
telling me when & what location you are available to work
telling me about your new baby complete with pictures
telling me about your drug addictions

What are you tired of seeing on resumes/in cover letters?

exhaustive  info about awards, etc.

Is there anything that people don’t put on their resumes that you wish they did?

how they made a difference at  their previous place of employment

How many pages should a cover letter be?

√ Only one!

How many pages should a resume/CV be?

√ Only one!

Do you have a preferred format for application documents?

√ No preference, as long as I can open it

Should a resume/CV have an Objective statement?

√ No

If applications are emailed, how should the cover letter be submitted?

√ Both as an attachment and in the body of the email

What’s the best way to win you over in an interview?

Be on time. Dress professionally.  Know something about the library.  Answer the questions (at this point, I really don’t want to hear about your new baby) Speak respectfully. Ask relevant questions.

What are some of the most common mistakes people make in an interview?

Not dressing for an interview.  Assuming you have the job. Telling me too much about your life (Will you be doing that with a patron instead listening to what he needs or wants?)

How has hiring changed at your organization since you’ve been in on the process?

not much

Anything else you’d like to let job-seekers know?

Don’t come or call unannounced & expect to be interviewed.   It won’t happen.  Neither will calling me several times a week.  I know you are interested in a job, but I am also busy.  Don’t send your husband/wife/significant other to pick up & application & talk to me.

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Filed under 0-10 staff members, Original Survey, Public

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